Godolphin have both Sweynesse and Hauraki in the 2015 George Main Stakes field and trainer John O’Shea is happy with both gallopers ahead of the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Sweynesse stamped himself as a horse to watch during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but he has not recorded a race win since he took out the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 27 almost a year ago and he returned to racing with a flat performance in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on September 5.
The Lonhro entire has been set for the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 and O’Shea does not believes that the four-year-old will be at peak fitness until that run, but he still expects the Group 1 placegetter to run well in the 2015 George Main Stakes this weekend.
“Both have progressed dramatically since their first-up run,” O’Shea told Racing Ahead.
“Sweynesse is going to get a beautiful run and if the rain comes that isn’t going to worry him.
“He still has a bit of improvement fitness wise going through Saturday, but I am really happy with where he is at.”
Hauraki also returned to the races in the Tramway Stakes and he was well-backed in the lead-up, but he could finish no better than tenth and underwent a veterinary examination after the race.
O’Shea believes that Hauraki still needs to step-up and prove that he is capable of competing at the highest level of racing as an older horse, but he remains hopeful that the Australian Derby placegetter can be competitive in a race like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
“Hauraki is on track for the Caulfield Cup,” O’Shea said.
“He needs to start stamping himself that he is up to that grade as a four-year-old, but he has made good improvement from his first-up run.”
O’Shea won the 2006 edition of the George Main Stakes with Racing To Win, but he missed the placings with the same horse in 2009.
Sweynesse is currently available at 2015 George Main Stakes odds of $13 with Ladbrokes, while Hauraki has drifted out to $26 after being available at a quote of $17 earlier in the week.